On a four to one vote Tuesday Logan’s municipal council agreed to adopt an amendment to the city’s anti-idling ordinance that they believe could help improve Logan’s air quality.
The amended ordinance will reduce allowed vehicle idle time from three to two minutes when the temperature is higher than 0 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 32.
Council Chairman Karl Ward voted against the amendment and said he could not support something that everyone knows will probably not be enforced. He also said he did not expect the changes in the ordinance to make a difference.
“I guess I just have a hard time passing an ordinance like this that has no enforceability, really,” Ward said. “It seems to me to be bureaucracy simply for the sake of bureaucracy and not really having any benefit in cleaning up the air or any enforceability.”
Councilmember Jeannie Simmonds said the changes in the ordinance may not do a lot but sometimes you have to start with baby steps.
“Sometimes it’s baby steps, but you have to start with one step,” Simmonds said. “So I think that despite the fact that it’s not enforceable, it is a statement by the City of Logan that they are concerned about this particular issue and that they do realize that more education is needed. But they have pronounced that this is their first baby step.”
Several people spoke out at the public hearing in favor of the measure, including Jim Goodwin. He said the ordinance may be difficult to enforce, but education will help.
“Many years ago people threw garbage out their window and they threw it in ditches,” Goodwin said. “And now that just doesn’t happen. This is the right thing to do.
“People will get educated on idling. The city needs to back it. We all need to push forward and encourage people to do it and it will happen.”
Councilmember Herm Olsen, who made the motion to change the ordinance, said the city should also have a clean-air education program and Mayor Craig Petersen agreed.